• Sharebar

This is NOT your typical "i want to do banking will a CFA help LOL!?!?!?" thread. I've already made substantial progress towards the CFA designation, and am wondering whether or not to leave it off my resume when I try to lateral into banking.

A bit of background: I graduated back in 2009 and started my career at a muni-bond financial advisory shop. The CFA was somewhat valued there, so I signed up for the December '10 exam early last year. Not too long afterwards, I was laid off along with my analyst class. After about 4 months of unemployment, I landed my current gig as an FP&A analyst at a large Silicon Valley tech company that you've definitely heard of. Though the CFA designation is not particularly relevant to my position, I decided to take the test since I had already paid for it and passed L1 in December.

Fast-forward to today... I've been at the new company for just under a year. I like the gig no doubt, but am thinking of trying to lateral into banking or corp dev within the next year or two. Although I will defend the CFA curriculum to the death as the most relevant for banking, I realize that it's not the most respected designation in the field. If you were in my shoes, would you leave "CFA Level II/II Candidate" off the resume when applying?

Any insights are much appreciated.

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Comments (14)

  • Dibbs's picture

    I let it on my resume, even though I don't plan on pursuing to level III once I start my banking gig in august.

  • fonz's picture

    I passed level III and it has helped me get banking interviews. Even though the CFA traditionally isn't important for IBD, they all seem to be impressed that I have it. I sometimes get asked why banking instead of asset management because of the CFA background, but it's pretty easy to come up with an answer for that.

  • lifesgreatmystery's picture

    ^ fonz, what was your answer to that?

    i would not be able to think of an answer to try and stay in the sell-side shit hole over a buy-side job

  • PossumBelly's picture

    passing level I is definitely not "substantial progress"...hell i was a poly sci major and passed that nonsense...nor is it "most relevant" to banking. Learning your colors and numbers in pre-school was more relevant that anything level I or II taught me....but regardless, I would leave it on if for no other reason than to show you are willing to work hard outside of normal working hours to further your knowledge.

  • fonz's picture

    "I want to focus on transactions/deals" - then talk about how your own experiences have led you to believe that deal-based work is a better fit than continuously applying or researching a strategy.

  • PeterN.'s picture

    Are you mad?? Of course leave it on! I only passed Level I and it helped a lot during SA and FT IBD recruiting. It was very well respected, especially by senior bankers.

  • trailmix8's picture
  • kahuna4637's picture

    Be careful about how you put it on the resume, there are a lot of rules they set about how you describe your candidacy, like I a pretty sure that technically you are not supposed to put your progress in terms of levels, just that you are a candidate. Look at the end of the level 1 ethics book, a lot of examples of what you cant and can do.

  • sayandarula's picture

    Thanks for all the replies guys... seems like the unanimous decision that I should leave it on.

    Cartwright... I'm curious as to why you think it's irrelevant. Calculating FCF, WACC, learning to do a DCF and other valuation methods, accretion/dilution analysis and M&A are all covered in the curriculum. I hope not to sound too naive... but doesn't that help for banking?

    Kahuna, "CFA Level II Candidate" is fine as long as you are signed up for Level II... I'm very aware of the rules of representing myself as a candidate... it's actually part of the curriculum.


    Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

  • GotBushels's picture

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  • sayandarula's picture

    Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?